Struggle to Balance


A writer whom I very much admire posed an interesting question this week. She wrote a blog post about the struggle to achieve balance in life. She was referring to her own struggles as a working mother. I am not yet a mother, but I am a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a girlfriend and a working woman. I, too, face a daily struggle to keep my life in balance.

The writer asked, “Do you ever doubt the choices you have made – and are making – about the way you spend your time?

I faced this exact dilemma over the weekend. As the owner of my own company, I work 80 plus hours a week. My life is my job. I have been doing it for almost 7 years and have built a successful company but with success comes sacrifice. When the weekends come I am able to see the draining effects of work.  I literally run myself ragged Monday through Friday and oftentimes even on the weekend. However, when I am given a free weekend with no obligations, I become selfish. I don’t want to venture out. I don’t want to see or do anything. I want to curl up in bed with a book or catch up on my reality television. Unfortunately, this is not very conducive to having, making or keeping friends. So I have to give of myself to make others happy, even if it is not something I feel like doing.

Why do I feel this urge to put others first even if I so desperately need the time to myself, to recharge, unwind, take stock of my life and just relax? But here is the catch. Typically, when I end up “forcing” myself to get out of bed and DO something, I almost never regret it. For example, this weekend, I promised my brother I would take him out for a night on the town. (We live in a small New England town, so a night on the town isn’t as wild and electric as it sounds.) But it was wonderful! We had dinner at a fantastic little restaurant, ate the best food I have ever had and then went for drinks at a local bar. Just me, my brother and M. We laughed, we talked, we shared stories and jokes. It was good. It was enjoyable. It was fun. It was exactly what I needed but not what I thought I wanted. It wasn’t a night spent lounging in bed, doing nothing. And now it’s Monday and I’m back to work, burning the midnight oil so to speak. The weekend seems so far away and my days of anticipated relaxation are behind me now. But I don’t regret giving away my free time. My balance is completely off, but I’m okay with that. I enjoyed myself and I laughed and sometimes that is the best relaxation you can ask for. Maybe sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us and it’s smart to just go with the flow, wherever it may take you.

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